If I form a group of people who plan to study photography together, and I want to name that group "Photography Study" or call it a "photography study group," what word should I use for "study" in both of those contexts?

  • 写真の研究グループ perhaps?
    – AthomSfere
    Feb 28, 2017 at 16:21

1 Answer 1


Study can be translated as either of the followings.

  • 勉強【べんきょう】: Refers to learning how to take (good) photos.
  • 研究【けんきゅう】: Refers to more academic study/research, seeking to discover new facts.

As a group name, you can add 会【かい】, which is a general suffix for "group (of people)", "club."

  • 写真勉強会【しゃしんべんきょうかい】
  • 写真研究会【しゃしんけんきゅうかい】

Both are common, but 研究会 sounds closer to "research group". Depending on who will belong to your group, it might be a bit overkill.

  • As a non-native Japanese speaker 研究会 just sounds so much cooler. I wonder if it really is overkill though as I believe I went to a school which had a ラーメン研究会 or is this an example of Japanese satire?
    – Leo
    Mar 1, 2017 at 9:49
  • Research does not necessarily mean professional and academic ones. Amateurs and high school students can do researches, of course. It depends on the purpose of the group. That said, while no one will think ラーメン研究会/アニメ研究会/etc is an academic organization, 写真研究会/癌研究会/etc can be sometimes misleading.
    – naruto
    Mar 1, 2017 at 10:00
  • "研究会" commonly used to mention research society - there are, people group who conducting research for certain things they're used to or liked to doing something (note that observing behavior of simple daily things can be counted as research effort). In other hand, "勉強会" is more common for learners society - community where people learns certain thing by sharing their knowledge (勉強を中心). Mar 2, 2017 at 15:25

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